Living Green

Eco-friendly Halloween Tips

Halloween should be frightful for fun, not for the planet! Make it greener this year with these Eco-friendly Halloween Tips to reduce waste.

Just like many other holidays, Halloween can be extremely wasteful. From the chemical-coated plastic decorations to the cheaply made costumes, the waste produced by the spooky occasion is truly terrifying when you think about it, not to mention all that single-serving candy.

Avoid contributing to this environmental nightmare and commit to a ghoulish and green Halloween this year! You can still embrace the holiday and have a great time without producing excess waste.

Here are 8 Eco-friendly Halloween Tips to reduce waste:

Compost jack-o’-lanterns and don’t paint them

When tossing food like your old jack-o'-lanterns into a garbage bag, you are protecting from decomposition and adding years to their life in the landfill. That's why composting is so important for sustainable living.

Check our this Composting 101 post with infographic and free printable

Don’t have time to make a compost bin? No problem you can also bury the pieces in your yard or flower beds to help enrich the soil for next year. You might even have a local drop-off for composting or know a neighbor who does.

Also be sure to roast your pumpkin seeds instead of tossing them. They make a great treat for the occasion.

Avoid disposable decorations and those that use electricity

We’ve all see how the stores are overrun with decorations to make your home spooky for the occasion, but sadly, these items are usually made with cheap plastics or coated papers and are generally made for one-time use. Get creative and give used items a second life by using found items from thrift stores. You can even look for natural items such as stones and sticks to decorate. 

Decorations that light up or make sounds might be fun, but they are an unnecessary use of electricity and batteries. Instead, play some spooky music and use eco-friendly candles placed in lanterns or old tins with holes punched in them.

Here are some Halloween Upcycles to get you started.

Use reusable bags for treats

Who needs a plastic pumpkin or bag when and an old pillowcase is a great way to carry treats. If you really want a spooky look for the occasion, you can decorate it.

Make DIY costumes and donate old ones

Look no further than your local thrift store and dream up a creative one of a kid costume that you’ll love. You might also be surprised by what you might already have that can be turned into something new with a few tweaks. Another great idea is to organize a costume swap with friends and neighbors.

Choose eco-goodies that use less packaging & are recyclable

Single-serving goods are one of the biggest contributors to the vast amounts of waste we send to the landfill. Sadly, you can no longer make and package your own goodies for the neighborhood kids, but you can purchase wisely. Choose snacks from earth-conscious food manufacturers like the ones listed here. If you need a cheap, plentiful option, at least look for candies that come in cardboard boxes that can be recycled or those wrapped in wax paper. Limiting the amount you give is also better for the Earth and the children visiting your home.

Make your own fake blood and face paints

When purchasing from a store, items such as fake blood will likely come in plastic packaging and have added chemicals and who knows what else. You can easily make your own using just powdered food coloring and corn syrup. If you need face paint, look for recipes like this one to make it all-natural using ingredients you likely already have in your cupboards. That way you know what you are putting on your skin and that there no harmful ingredients.

Use all-natural candles rather than petroleum-based

Look for candles made with soy and beeswax that also use a cotton wick for a cleaner burn to be as eco-friendly as possible. Luckily for us, there are tons of natural candle options these days, and it’s such an easy change to make.

Shop local

Resisting the urge to shop online is always better for the planet and your local economy so if there are items you must buy new, be sure to visit local shops and look for materials that are PVC-free and as natural as possible.


Learn more about this special paper made by Botanical PaperWorks that uses post-consumer materials and is embedded with seeds so that it will grow when planted!


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